Are You Striving on the Inside or Resting? You Must Be At Rest to Receive the Blessing!

GlassofWater

To be in a position to receive from God, we must first be at rest.  This is an internal rest on the inside where there is a cessation of all internal and external striving and anxiety.

God is sovereign.  He has All Power. We are mere, small humans.  Our life is like a vapor (James 4:14).  Our life is like a flower of the field.  We can be here today and gone today .  When we leave this earth realm, life will continue in some ways as if we never existed. (Psalm 103: 15-16). Our physical frame, our substance, the body in which our spirit dwells is like dust (Psalm 103:14).

Yet we strive and struggle as if everything we are dealing with right now is permanent and forever.    We fret and fume as if somehow we can make something happen in our natural efforts that can only be done by the supernatural hand of God.  We desire for the promises of God to fully manifest in our lives on our time frame and from our limited perspective.  We confess, go to church, pray, read the bible and fellowship.  We do all of these good and right things yet we find ourselves frustrated, restless and overwhelmed while the promises of God remain un-manifested in our lives.

There are many, many reasons for this – way too many to go into here as to why this could be the case for some of us, but I believe one of the primary and key reasons why we fail to fully receive and walk in the promises of God is because we strive for it too much in our limited human energy.  Our pride causes us to strive to do God’s work and “make it happen” in our own strength.   The problem is that our strength is very limited and we are not God, therefore we reach a point where we become too anxious and uptight to even receive what we are believing for, much less have the capacity to keep it when we receive it.

Strive:  To make great efforts to achieve something; to exert much effort or energy; endeavor; to struggle or fight forcefully; to contend; to make a great and tenacious effort; to exert oneself vigorously; to try hard; to labor and to work.

Restlessness: Marked by a lack of quiet, repose, or rest; not able to rest, relax or be still; feeling of agitation expressed in continual motion; the feeling of being agitated and not calm; turmoil; instability; bustle; inconstancy; hurry-scurry; anxiety; disturbance; disquiet; edginess; uneasiness.

For example, imagine a beautifully dressed woman sitting down in a very nice restaurant.  She would like to have a cold glass of water.  Normally, the customer will sit and patiently wait until the waiter or waitress stops by the table, sets down a glass, and pours water into the glass from a pitcher.  The customer does not have to do anything but sit there and wait for the glass to get full and then drink.

However, this woman is very, very thirsty and she is impatient.  She really wants someone to fill her glass RIGHT NOW with some ice, cold water.  Instead of sitting at her table and waiting, she decides that it is absolutely imperative that she gets her own water.  She is tired of waiting.  She is getting restless and agitated at having to sit still for so long.  She finds a glass, gets up and walks all over the restaurant in circles around the tables, to the restroom, outside in the parking lot, all over the place to get her glass of ice water.  She fails to notice the nice waitress calmly standing there with a pitcher of water waiting for her back at the table ready to fill her glass to the top if only she would stop scurrying about like a chicken all of over the restaurant, huffing and puffing, getting all tired and sweaty.

All she had to do was sit down and wait.  But no, she wanted to figure out how to get her own water, her way without any help from anyone.  She wants everyone to see that she can get her own water all by herself.  In the meantime, the once poised and well-mannered lady is now all crazy, tired, overwhelmed and frustrated.  Her hair is messed up and her clothes are wrinkled.  Her glass is now dirty and is cracked.

This is how we look to God when we try to help, heal, fix, deliver, figure out something, get revelation or wisdom, or try make something happen that only God can do. Yes, we have our own part to do.  Yes, we are supposed to work but ONLY from a place and position of rest and peace.  A peaceful mind is a powerful mind.  God has not given to us a spirit of fear (anxiety, striving, and turmoil) but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).  When there is work to be done, it is to be done decently and in order under God’s timing with his wisdom and peace.  If the work we are doing to make something happen is causing inner striving, turmoil, restlessness and lack of peace than we can be sure that we are doing the work in our own fleshly energy.  Working in the energy of God is working in the energy of Grace. His grace is sufficient and his grace does not bring the striving restlessness but peace and poise even under trying circumstances.

In the example above, how can the lady get water in her glass when the glass is always moving? How can we expect to receive anything from God when we are busying moving about and refuse to get still enough to receive it in the first place? God is very big and powerful.  We are the little ones.  We must get still and seek Him for us to fill us with what we need.  Sometimes He will wait until we have depleted all of our human energy before He can begin to move on our behalf.  By this point, we are so exhausted that we cannot move and are finally still enough to receive what He was trying to get to us all along.

Rest: The cessation of work, exertion or activity; peace, ease, refreshment; mental or emotional tranquility; relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.

Because our God is peaceful and orderly it would behoove us to ask Him to help us become like Him.  It will help us receive from Him much easier.  We cannot approach an orderly, peaceful, All powerful, Almighty God in a striving, huffing, puffing, and anxious way. In 1 Peter 5:5 in the Amplified Bible reads:

“…Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility …For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful) – [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble…”

With all of the perplexities, issues and struggles we face in our lives the last thing we need is to have the Sovereign Lord God of the entire Universe opposing and frustrating us because we are too proud to stop trying to do it ourselves.  However, if we do not humble ourselves and get still before Him, this is exactly what happens.  Then  we wonder why everything is so hard, so frustrating and so aggravating when we believe we are doing everything right.

It is because we carry our own cares instead of casting our cares as we are told to do in 1 Peter 5:7. We then exalt ourselves in pride to do it ourselves in our way. God sits and watches the proud from person at a distance according to Psalm 138:6.  We do not need God watching us from afar as we stumble and bumble along without His Grace.  We need Him actively involved and working in our lives!

For us to truly rest and let God work and be led in our work by and through His Strength, we must align ourselves with what He plainly tells us in scripture about the nature of HIS work:

  1.  He chose us.  We didn’t choose Him. (John 15:16)  He made the choice to die on the cross for our sins and love us.  We didn’t have sense enough to choose Him first.
  2. It is God who works in us, both to will and to do HIS good pleasure (Phil 2:13).  He works in us (not us) and it is for His pleasure (not ours).  The Amplified version states: “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight…”
  3.  Jesus is the Author of our Faith and He will finish what He started.  He started this work in his and He will finish it.  (Hebrews 12:2 )
  4. We are his workmanship.  We are His handiwork.  We were created to do preordained good works, but in His strength only. (Ephesians 2:10)
  5. We are to be confident that he started this workmanship in us and that He will keep on working in us until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)

We are to let God do it. It’s not about us.  This whole process is His business and His work. Not ours.

We are to wait with confident expectation and most of all in a spirit of rest so that we can receive the peace, the instruction, the wisdom, the revelation, and understanding that we need (and the breakthroughs and blessings) so that the work that we are to do we do it in His grace, His Timing, His Way and in His Strength.

Blessings,

LadyTMaria

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God Will Not Let You Rot In This Spot!

black-spot

Note from LadyTB: I originally wrote this in late 2009 while in The Spot and am just now publishing for first time.

Sometimes it feels like you have been spinning around in the same mess for so long.  You have fasted, prayed, repented of every known sin.  You asked God to kill your flesh.  You have humbled yourself.  You have surrendered (with great struggle) the best you know how.

You still keep messing up and making mistakes.  You have asked God to take your life.  You have prayed that he would take your mess and somehow use it for his benefit and glory.

You know that God has heard your prayers, but yet there is no tangible evidence of anything happening. You tied a knot in your rope and hung on until it broke, so now you are barely hanging on a strand.

As a matter of fact, things look worse now than when you first started.  You get assaulted in your mind from every side – every possible negative thought that could be thought about your situation you think about.  Every worse case scenario is fully played out.  You began to judge yourself and blame others for your condition.  You began to worry, reason, analyze, figure and finagle on how you got here and what you need to do.  You see all of your mistakes and the mistakes of those closest to you.  You see your flaws and their flaws too.

You have so much to say and feel that there is so much left unsaid.  You are at your wits end.  You have given up your way, your thinking and you cling desperately to God, waiting for your change to come.  You pray for God to cover you, help you strengthen you when everything in you wants to run away.  You feel as though you are not getting “your needs” met, that this isn’t how it was supposed to be, that your reality is no where close to what you are believing for.  You make one step forward and five steps backward.  You think it’s the devil holding you back (sure he is involved of course, then you think it is because of your mistakes and your flesh (that plays a huge role too). Then you also realize that God must be part of the hold up too— as a matter of fact, He controls all circumstances so it is safe to say that HE IS THE ONE who holds the key and is delaying for specific and strategic reasons.

At the end of every day and at the dawn of each new day, you wonder “Will this be the day that my captivity turns?”  Will we stay like this forever?  Are we being punished and suffering because of our mistakes?  Is God delaying us because we can never seem to have enough faith, we still keep messing up with our mouth, our confession our thoughts and our wild and unruly flesh that wants to seek for itself and not submit to God?  We think and we know that if it depended upon us to get us out of our mess, that we would make the mess even bigger and so we blame ourselves for our own role in our own mess and then we think that because of this our dreams, hopes, prayers, desires, all of the good things that we believe God wants us to do have been shut down and will never come to pass.

We think we will rot and die right here.  We think that we will stay the same way forever.  Hope seems distant and elusive.  It takes all the faith you can to muster up the strength to keep on keeping on when it is so hard.

My friends I come to tell you that God will not let you rot in your spot.  God sees us.  He is using every thing that is going on in the Spot to make you better and stronger.  He is humbling you.  He is cleaning you up.  He is purging you to receive the manifestation of your dreams.

There is a due season, an appointed season, a right season.  When He doesn’t answer our prayers right away we’re forced to trust Him more. When He allows us to suffer it brings depth and strength and compassion into our lives.

Dying to our willful way of doing things that make sense to us in the short-term, immediacy of our need and desires but the long-term always creating pain and suffering because we are basing decisions on fear and what we see with our natural eyes.   The outcome of these types of decisions and this type of lifestyle always brings suffering on some level to not only yourself but those whose lives you touch.  God woos us in these moments of suffering to bring us to back to Him and His Love.  We then turn from our error and submit to him.  Then our love matures, so does our level of faith.

God is not in a hurry.  Your fleshy hurry is partly why you are in the Spot.  God simply waited for you to get to the Spot and then he lets you sit in the Spot until you learn the lesson of the Spot.

You will be delivered from the Spot when you learn the lesson of the Spot, when you stop fighting in the Spot.  When you remain faithful in the Spot.  When you keep believing in the Spot.  When you keep serving in the Spot.  When you keep praising in the Spot.  While you are in the spot, you are getting stronger.  The same stupid stuff that got you all bent out of shape in your pre-spot phase don’t faze you anymore.

James 1: 2 -3 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Romans 5: 3-5 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Because of being the Spot, you can now handle some pressure.  The Spot helped you to speak the Word only.  Being in the Spot gave you some humility and some compassion.  The people that you snubbed your nose at and looked down upon all of a sudden you got some understanding about them and you realize that it is God’s grace that you do as well as you do.

All of a sudden, you don’t feel so high and mighty anymore because all of the stuff you based on your value and worth in were removed in the Spot.  In the Spot you learned what real love is.  In the Spot, you learned some patience and how to be emotionally stable when all hell breaks loose.  In the Spot is where you learned how to fight.  Little imps and demons used to have you off the deep end mentally in two seconds flat don’t even faze you anymore.

Truthfully speaking, it is because of what you prayed for that you are in the Spot.  You had to go to the Spot.  If you can’t handle the Spot, then you can’t handle the blessing that come after it without falling apart and getting heady in yourself and not the power of God.  The place of blessing is wonderful but rest assured my friend that you won’t get it without a fight and you won’t maintain it without a fight.  If you can’t handle the fight in the Spot, then you won’t maintain any victory in the Blessing.

Know this, if you keep your hand in God’s hands, be humble, remain faithful, walk close to the Lord and speak the word and pray during the Spot, you will not remain there.  Oh no, you will not rot in the Spot.  You shall rise.  You shall be resurrected.  There will be a better day.  Don’t judge your entire life, by the Spot season.  Endure and press on.  You will not Rot in the Spot!